The Post’s polling guru Peyton Craighill provided me with some interesting details on the new Washington-Post ABC News poll. In the South, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s support has collapsed. In a month, he went from 41 percent to 18 percent. Outside of the South, he garners 15 percent. Meanwhile, Herman Cain has soared there, now taking 23 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney is now statistically tied with Cain and Perry in the South, with 20 percent, but he dominates outside the South with 29 percent of the vote.
This suggests several things. First, Perry’s collapse has benefited Cain in the South, but both men have failed to connect outside that region. That spells trouble for them in early primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and perhaps Florida (technically a Southern state, but politically much less so). Second, if Perry or Cain is to catch Romney, one may have to knock out the other. As things stand now, Romney could rack up wins on their turf and then cruise to victory outside the South. Third, unless Perry or Cain can expand his reach outside his base, Romney could hopscotch through the early primaries, racking up wins and then sealing the deal as the primaries contests pan out around the country.
Romney, it seems, is increasingly well positioned.